Sharon Calcraft (born 1955)
Composer, Actor, Musician, Artist | Composer of many notable film scores
Sharon Calcraft was born in Kingston Jamaica in 1955 and remains very attached to the place of her birth. Between the ages of eight and thirteen she studied piano and theory with Jamaican piano pedagogy legends Ena Helps and Rita Coore. She attended St Andrew Preparatory School, transferring in an orderly fashion to St Andrew Girls High.
In her fourteenth year she emigrated to Sydney, Australia with her parents and two younger siblings. On leaving school in 1973, Sharon embarked on an exploration of modes of expression that lay outside music. During her high school years in Sydney she became very interested in painting and film and for a time music receded in its importance to her artistic thinking. Thus began a continuing curiosity concerning the possibility of crossing or combining disciplines.
Up until 1977 she worked in the theatre, both as an actor and musician and mounted her own one-woman cabarets, singing, designing the costumes and painting the backdrops for her shows. In 1978 she wrote the score for her first short film, an animated film by Polish filmmaker Antoinette Starkiewicz. Soon after this, Sharon found herself in demand as a composer for feature movies where she discovered the perfect vessel for exploring a combination of disciplines: drama, visual arts and music, a type of Gesamtkunstwerk. She relished this continued opportunity for experimentation, working with many of Australia’s finest musicians in a state of the art recording studio—EMI Studios 301 Castlereagh Street— to produce the scores.
This continued unabated up until 1990 when her first child was born.
In 1991 she became a guest lecturer at the Australian Film and Television School until the birth of twin sons in 1993, an event that effected a natural hiatus in her film scoring career. This hiatus lasted for nearly a decade with only sporadic forays into short film.
When Sharon properly resumed composition, it was for the concert stage.
Sharon holds a Masters in Composition from the Sydney Conservatorium of Music, University of Sydney, where her research was interdisciplinary, examining the connection between music, sculpture and philosophy. Her next project will continue the trajectory of fascination with the combination of art, drama and music that finds its origins in her experiences and experiments as a schoolgirl.
Film Scores include:
Winter of Our Dreams, Dir. John Duigan, Perf. Judy Davis, Bryan Brown, 1981.
Far East, Dir. John Duigan, Perf. Helen Morse, Bryan Brown, 1982.
Fast Talking, Dir. Ken Cameron, Perf. Steve Bisley, Rod Zuanic, 1984.
Remember Me, Dir. Lex Marinos, Perf. Wendy Hughes, Richard Moira, 1985.
Boundaries of the Heart, Dir. Lex Marinos, Perf. Wendy Hughes, John Hargreaves, 1988.
Luigi’s Ladies, Dir. Judy Morris, Perf. Wendy, Hughes, Sandy Gore, Anne Tenney, 1989.
Boys in the Island, Dir. Geoff Bennett. Perf, James Fox, Yves Stening, 1990.
Concert Works include:
Sevenfold Amen, Seven Harp Ensemble, Bolmimerie C.D. TP 204
Aquifer for Camac “Blue” Electroacoustic Harp and Pre-Fabricated Electronics.
Alice Giles, harpist. ABC Classic FM Sunday Live “Alice Giles in Recital” April 20, 2014.
Verathmende, Schillernde, Blitzende, “Songs for Halcyon”, March 29, 2014 Classic FM Live Broadcast ABC. C.D. Kingfisher, Songs for Halcyon, TP 236
Figura Humana, Electronics and Dance. “Dance Meets Music Series”, Sydney Conservatorium, May 31, June 1, 2014.
Rapture, Stephanie McCallum, piano, Erin Helyard, harpsichord. “Plucked and Hammered”, Recital Hall West, Sydney Conservatorium, September 2, 2014.
Masters Thesis: “The Mannerist Idea: Connecting Michelangelo, Deleuze and Ferneyhough.” Sydney Conservatorium of Music, University of Sydney, 2015.
- Sharon Calcraft, July 2016